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Motor Lorries (Long Loads)

Volume 649: debated on Wednesday 22 November 1961

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asked the Minister of Transport if he will take steps to prohibit the driving of long lorry loads requiring police escorts on the highways.

We hope shortly to introduce new controls on the movement of long loads; those over 90 ft. long will need an order issued under the authority of my right hon. Friend, and others will also be subject to control. Our original proposals met with considerable opposition, and we have revised them to reduce the burden on industry. I hope these controls will divert some loads to other means of transport or cause them to be split into smaller units. But complete prohibition would be no solution to the problem.

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that some of these long loads take as long as two days to pass through counties, escorted by police—and, incidentally, at no charge to the industrialist? Does he not realise that other countries have got together with industry and, as a result, the nature of the manufacture is such that it is possible to prohibit this type of escorted long lorry load being imposed on the highway? Does he realise that these long loads constitute a menace to all road users, including cyclists?

It is precisely those conditions which led us to circulate last year regulations to deal with this problem. We are now, as we are obliged by Statute to do, considering objections which have been made by the various interests concerned, and we will announce our decision as quickly as we can.